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Elk Grove Citizen

New head coach of CRC mens swimming has Olympic experience

Jan 26, 2024 03:07PM ● By Daniel Corkery, CRC Connection

 Sacramento native Terry Peyton has been named the new head coach of the swim and dive program at Cosumnes River College,

Sacramento (MPG) - Sacramento native Terry Peyton has been named the new head coach of the swim and dive program at Cosumnes River College, the athletic department announced in a November news release.

CRC Athletic Director Collin Pregliasco said Peyton’s Sacramento roots and passion made him a perfect candidate for the job. Peyton said he coached a club swim team at CRC from 1983 until the late 90’s.

“What’s very clear with Terry, not only does he have an amazing passion for swimming, but he’s extremely well connected,” Pregliasco said. “He is a tactician, and an amazing coach. We are extremely lucky to have him.”

CRC has never had a men’s swimming team in its 53-year history. Coach Peyton said he is now in charge of building the program from scratch. He said he was a gifted swimmer through his childhood, and that experience led him into coaching.

Peyton said he grew up in the pool. He was nationally ranked throughout his childhood and broke a national record as part of a relay team. He claims anyone can join the swim team, even if they can’t swim.

“Even if they don’t race, they’ve learned a lifelong skill,” Peyton said.

Peyton attended Cordova High School, where he was a two time All-American securing his place in the Sports Hall of Fame for the City of Rancho Cordova. He also earned a spot in the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for his success at American River College.

Peyton got into coaching during his junior year of high school. Peyton attributes his love for the sport from his time coaching.

“The coach at Arden Hills asked me to stay after practice one day and help him work with the little kids, Peyton said. “When I graduated, he said I should go out and get my own team. I was fortunate because of my swimming background and brief time as an assistant coach, I landed a head coaching job right out of high school. I was the youngest Head Coach in US Swimming.”

Peyton has over 40 years of coaching experience. He swam for and coached with many elite swimmers, such as former US Olympic coach Sherm Chavoor, who coached eight Olympic gold medalists, and gold medalist Jeff Float.

Gus Nicola, who has coached with Peyton for the past six months said, “You can’t teach that (elite), you can only live it.”

Getting kids through and graduating his athletes is a big motivator, Peyton claims.

“If I can hold onto the kids for another two years and get ‘em over the hump to that four-year school, then we’ve done something pretty special,” Peyton said.

Peyton said he ran his own painting business on top of coaching, which made for a lot of long days.

“It’s absolutely crazy,” Peyton said. “I do 14-hour days on a regular basis. I got into painting from a colleague of mine. I joined up with him.”

Peyton said his hiring at CRC created an opportunity to retire from painting.

“I have a couple of clients that I still take care of, because they’ve been with me forever, but I’m not taking on any new work anymore,” Peyton said.

Family-life and fatherhood caused him to take a break from coaching between 1999-2014.

“I didn’t want to leave,” Peyton said. “Being a coach is really hard on a family life because you’re never home in the evening, and you leave in the early morning. I missed it terribly, and when I had the opportunity to get back into it I jumped at the chance.”

Peyton said adversity and health made him grow up fast.

“I have a handicapped brother who I started taking care of,” Perry said. “There were some really tight times. My college years were a fog of fatigue.”

A love for swimming, high energy and desire for success is what should be known of Coach Peyton, Pregliasco said.

“High energy and he loves what he does,” Pregliasco said. “His passion for each of his athletes to develop them, take care of them, to make sure they’re successful in everything they do.”

This piece was originally published in The Connection, the student newspaper at Cosumnes River College, at